Duterte says medical staff are 'lucky' to die for their country

Philippines President Duterte says medical staff who lose their lives treating coronavirus patients are ‘lucky’ to die for their country

  • President Duterte made the comments on Monday evening in televised address
  • ‘It would be an honor to die for your country, I assure you,’ he added
  • Country recorded 227 new coronavirus cases and 8 more deaths on Wednesday
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has drawn criticism for saying medical staff who lose their lives treating coronavirus patients are ‘lucky’ to die for their country. 

Duterte made the comments on Monday evening in a pre-recorded televised address to the nation, which is largely on lockdown due to the pandemic. 

‘There are doctors, nurses, attendants who died. They were the ones who died helping others. They are so lucky. They died for the country. That should be the reason why we die,’ he said. 

‘It would be an honor to die for your country, I assure you,’ he added. 

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (pictured on Monday) has drawn criticism for saying medical staff who lose their lives treating coronavirus patients are ‘lucky’ to die for their country

His comments sparked concern that the president was romanticizing the deaths of medics due to the virus, Filipino outlet Rappler reported. 

At least 12 Filipino doctors had passed away from COVID-19 as of Sunday, March 29, according to the Philippine Medical Association. 

Medics have complained of a lack of protective equipment for those on the front lines of the pandemic.   

The country recorded 227 new coronavirus cases and eight more deaths on Wednesday, the health ministry said.

The latest figures brought the total number of infections and deaths in the country to 2,311 and 96, respectively.

A father with his children aboard their bicycle crosses an almost empty road in Manila on March 20, fter the government imposed an enhanced community quarantine against the rising numbers of COVID-19 coronavirus infections

The Philippines, the third country after China and Italy to order home quarantine for a large part of its population of 107 million had until recently reported fewer cases than expected, with many deaths.

Authorities had attributed that to a lack of testing kits and lab capacity.

President Rodrigo Duterte has put retired generals among his cabinet in charge of the task force battling the crisis, saying its management requires military-style discipline. 

 

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